We use an internal LTO3 tape drive (HP Ultrium 920) in a PC (no particular server hardware) running Linux. The tape drive becomes quite hot - I don't have the exact temperature, but you may touch it for a second or two, then it hurts ;-) This happens when the tape has nothing to do (during reading/writing, it might become even hotter, I haven't checked that).

Besides that, the system is working fine. Now I'm wondering

  • Why does the tape becomes so hot?
  • Is this something I need to care about?
  • Is there something like a 'standby' mode for the tape? (I think it should not consume that much energy when it is not used)
  • For reference, people facing the same problem might also consider using an external tape drive instead – claasz Jun 28 '12 at 12:07
  • You should really also check the other internal parts of your server, mainly chipset, cpu and disks. If you cannot hold any parts, the temperature is over 50C and this is really too hot. Check for bad fans. Expect failures. – Jože Guna Jul 10 '12 at 14:54
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    Fan in tape drive PSU failed, just happened to us. – user169519 Apr 15 '13 at 1:59

This is way too hot, there are always parts in any computer that would get too hot (CPU/GPU normally) but there's obviously an airflow problem with your server/'PC'. I'd get it unplugged as soon as you can and look to place it in something with appropriately cooled.

Edit - looking at their spec that particular drive isn't supposed to go over 40C/104F - so that's really not right at all.

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Tape drives are designed to be in server hardware with correct cooling and air flow setups. I would suggest you check the internal cooling arrangements especially in area of the tape drive and address this.

But I have just checked our tape drives and they are warm but these are in s a tape ibrary.

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